No, really, despite appearances that I have been doing absolutely nothing over the past couple of months, stuff has in fact been going on.
To mark the current level of going-on-ness of stuff, Improvizone are playing again at the Plough this Wednesday 20 May 2009 with the usual personnel. There will be Os. There will be Mike Bearpark. There will be Nick Cottam. Last, and least, I will be playing too. Also we might be joined by Simon Laffy, if it turns out he got back in one piece from a rather hazardous yacht trip in the Atlantic/Biscay area. Ha haaARRR, me Laffsta!
Yes well, that all assumes the Plough don't cancel our gig again the day before, like they did last time. I don't know why and I don't care, though I probably should.
If Simon can join us, we will be repeating the line-up from six weeks ago, which featured both Nick and Simon at the same gig. They, as you may have noticed if you've been watching carefully and have the luxury of not much else to think about, are both bass players. However, recently the Laffsta has taken up electric guitar, and it's been great to hear a different side of him as he ably gets to grips with its alien thin-string pluckery and effectorama, while retaining the rhythmical and monotonal tendencies of the great bass player he is. It was really good to get Nick and the Laffsta together - I always felt a bit awkward giving the Plough gigs to Nick, saving the inner London gigs for Simon, and then not coming up with any inner London gigs. So Simon taking up the guitar was a really nice opportunity to bring them both to the same stage. One either side of me. I didn't know which way to look.
The reason Simon is bigging up the guitar is the Skylinerz, featuring said Laffsta on bass and guitar, and me on drums. Acoustic ones. Skylinerz have an debut album out soon, and I'm credited for e-drums, though in truth I struck not one tinkle of percussion on the entire disc. I sang backing vocals on a few tracks. But live it's all me on the beats, and you can check us out at the forthcoming Chingford Festival on Saturday 27 June 2009, where Skylinerz will be doing an evening slot supporting Queen tribute band The Bohemians. Who will, I expect, rock us. This will be our third ever gig, and we haven't played the first two yet, so we've seen our fair quota of rehearsals over the last few months.
Also playing at the festival earlier in the afternoon are the Aimless Mules, featuring Improvizone regular Mike Bearpark on guitar and, again, thine host on acoustic drums. That, plus Skylinerz, have plonked me back behind the acoustic kit quite a bit recently. I might even be thinking I prefer it to the e-drums right now. Last Improvizone gig I took only my SPD-S pad and pedals to hit. Nothing else. The gig was absolutely fine and I hardly missed the extra clutter at all.
But there is one important event to keep me going with the electronics for now. On Saturday 30 May 2009, Mike, Os and I will head over to Antwerp for Sjaak Overgaauw's European Live Looping Festival, appearing as Darkroom. I'm really looking forward to this trip. Having made music with Mike and Os for ages now, it's a real thrill to contemplate a theatre gig in an improvised format with people I know well and trust. I'm even taking a few days off beforehand to chill out, drink solar powered tea, exercise the gastrocnemius muscles anew, write a bit of celebratory electronic percussion software, and generally prepare for it.